On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Morgan Stanley's annual Valerie Fund campaign to support Camp Happy Times kicked off at the firm's office in New York City. Former Valerie Fund patient, Sierra Spriggs, a three-time cancer survivor and Camp Happy Times veteran, shared her journey from her first diagnosis at age five until now. Sierra will graduate from Colombia University with her Masters in Social work this May.
When Valerie’s family and friends sought to honor her memory 40 years ago, most were new to the world of philanthropy and unlikely fully aware of the challenges of raising money.
Since the first Valerie Fund Children’s Center opened at Summit’s Overlook Medical Center in 1976, the extraordinary growth of The Valerie Fund has been rooted in founders Sue and Ed Goldstein’s own heartbreaking experiences and their desire to provide compassionate care close to home. This year we will celebrate the generosity, willingness to give back and tireless efforts of so many.
While there is so much more to do, we can reflect on the 40th Anniversary of the founding of The Valerie Fund and be proud of the fact that thousands of critically ill children and their families were not alone as they navigated the many challenges faced following a devastating diagnosis of cancer or a blood disorder.
We can appreciate the integration of top-notch medical care with a growing range of customized therapeutic services offered by social workers, child life specialists, educational liaisons, psychologists and specialists in integrative medicine and palliative care. We can acknowledge that while rarely covered by health insurance, these social services play a vital role in addressing quality of life issues during the treatment and healing process.